Zoosk Review: Is It Worth Your Time and Money?

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Jun 25, 2020

Zoosk is an online dating service designed to help you make a longterm match. The site claims to use Behavioural Matchmaking™ technology to learn from the actions of over 35 million members to give you better results the longer you subscribe.

The app is currently available in 80+ countries.

Our analysis of this dating service will help you decide whether it is worth your time and money.

Pros
  • Quick sign up process
  • Claims to have more active users than similar sites
  • Possible to browse member profiles for free
Cons
  • No guarantee that your matches will see your messages unless you pay extra
  • Confusing website interface
  • Cost of extra features adds up quickly
  • Many reviewers believe there is a high concentration of spam accounts

How Does Zoosk Work?

Signing up for Zoosk requires you to share your age, gender, dating preferences, location, and other details like your physical build, highest education level, religious affiliation, whether you have kids, and more.

There are three main ways to look for matches:

1. Basic Search

Zoosk lets you view other members in your area for free. This means that you can see their pictures, bio information, and general location. You can narrow your search by age and geographic region.

However, you won’t be able to contact anyone unless you sign up for a paid subscription.

You can help others find you by filling out your own profile with photos, a background story, your favorite interests, what you’re looking for in a match, and what your ideal date would look like.

2. Zoosk Carousel

The Zoosk Carousel is a feature available for both free and paid accounts that lets you take a glance at other members and decide whether you are interested in meeting them. You can consider it to be the “Tinder” portion of the dating service.

The Carousel will display a member’s age and profile picture, and you can select “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” on them. If that same member choses “yes” for you, you will gain access to each other’s full profile and can message either other if your subscriptions allow for it.

This bonus subscription feature lets you tag up to five people a day as crushes on the Zoosk Carousel, which is a stronger sign of interest than the standard “like” option.

You will also receive unlimited “un-dos” for the times you accidentally swipe no on a match. Instant Crush costs $9.49 per month and will automatically renew until you cancel.

You won’t be able to message matches with this upgrade unless you also have a premium subscription.

3. SmartPick

Every 24 hours, Zoosk will show you one profile chosen for you specifically based on your match preferences, the kind of people you’ve liked and messaged, and more. If you click “like” on the SmartPick and they do the same to you, Zoosk will let you connect.

What Comes with a Zoosk Subscription?

Though it’s possible to browse Zoosk for free, you’ll need to pay for membership if you want to connect with anyone in a meaningful way.

A paid Zoosk subscription comes with the following benefits:

  • Unlimited messages
  • Full access to SmartPick introductions
  • The ability to see who’s viewed you
  • The ability to chat with your connections

The longer you commit to a membership, the lower the price per month will be.

Membership Length Total Cost Cost Per Month
1 Month $29.95 $29.95
3 Months $59.95 $19.98
6 Months $74.95 $12.49

You can add Premium Messaging to your order for $9.99 per month. This allows anyone to respond to messages, even if they aren’t a subscriber.

Each subscription will automatically renew unless canceled beforehand.

How to Pause or Cancel Your Subscription

You can pause or cancel your Zoosk subscription at any point, either through the app store that you purchased it from or through the “my account” section of the website.

Once you cancel, your account will no longer be visible to other Zoosk members. All purchases are nonrefundable, which means you won’t be reimbursed for any unused time or coins.

Zoosk Coins

In addition to a paid subscription, you can enhance your experience by using Zoosk coins, which are the site’s virtual currency.

You can use them to access premium features and make yourself stand out to other members. 180 coins cost $19.95, and you can purchase 480 coins for $39.95 or 1800 coins for $99.95. It’s possible to buy coins as both a free member and a paid subscriber.

Some of the most common uses for coins include the following:

  • Zoosk Boost: Gain the attention of other Zoosk members by using coins to purchase Boost, which highlights you in the search results, inbox, and Carousel. You can get 75 boosts for 150 coins.

  • Message Confirmation: Once you message someone, you can use 35 coins to find out if they read it. (Only paid subscribers can use coins for this feature.)

  • Buy Gifts for Other Members: You can get attention from other members by gifting them coins in increments of 10 to 100.

  • Unlock Matches in Carousel: If you like someone on Carousel, but they haven’t liked you back, you can use coins to unlock their profile. (You won’t be able to message them directly unless you are a paid subscriber.)

  • Buy Gifts for Other Members: You can get attention from other members by gifting them coins in increments of 10 to 100.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

Over 65 Zoosk members submitted reviews on our website for a combined average of 1.3-stars. Here are the key takeaways:

Many Matches Felt Like a Scam

A log of reviewers felt like Zoosk was a scam. They wrote that their attempts to connect with gorgeous singles in their area were ignored or met with robotic responses that made them question whether they were real people.

One member paid for a subscription to read a message from an attractive woman, only to have the message be an ad from the company to buy coins.

Others were upset that they never got messages that people were viewing their profile, even after they sent them gifts, smiles, and messages. This led them to believe that there weren’t always genuine people on the other side.

Some Users Found Love

Some reviewers stated that they made good friends or even met their fiancé through the service.

Too Expensive for the Features

Many members who paid for extra Zoosk features reported that they were too expensive for the benefits they got. Some wrote that they didn’t appreciate having to pay for coins in addition to the monthly subscription cost to get noticed and that they connected with few serious matches over a month, despite paying for boosts and gifts.

One user wrote that their biggest complaint with the app was that most people didn’t pay for premium, meaning that it was hard to connect with anyone without paying the additional monthly fee for Premium Messages to let them message back for free.

Complicated Cancellation Policy

Some Zoosk users struggled to cancel their accounts. They reported that the site offered them a discounted rate when they attempted to cancel but didn’t honor it during the billing process. These users ended up disputing the charge through their bank to get their money back.

Difficult to Navigate

A few users wrote that the Zoosk website and app were challenging to navigate. Some noted that they struggled to use the advanced search features to find people near them, while others took issue with the fact that the site logged them as “viewing” members even when they were merely trying to skip over their profile as a suggested match.

This made it difficult for them to determine which of their views were from members doing the same thing.

Others didn’t like the lack of information on the carousel feature, as they often matched with people who lived too far away to be a viable prospect.

Zoosk vs. Elite Singles and Match.com

Zoosk Elite Singles Match.com
Price Per Month $12.95–$29.99, plus extras $31.95–$57.95 $18.99–$37.99
Matching Process Shares suggested matches and lets you browse others with Carousel feature Assigns matches based on your personality tests results and your partner preferences Short quiz focused on your demographic information and your basic partner requirements
Free Search Available? No Only through the app Yes
Ability to Search by Income/ Education Level? No Yes Yes
Key Feature Possible to connect with members in unique ways by spending coins Claims to tailor to 30+, highly educated members No limit to daily matches
Overall App Rating Android: 3.8-stars (500,000 reviews)
iOS: 4.4-stars, (67,000 reviews)
Android: 2.4-stars (8,000 reviews)
iOS: 3.1-stars (13,000 reviews)
Android: 3-stars (85,000 reviews)
iOS: 3.8-stars (7,000 reviews)
Number of Members 40 million active users About 2 million 9 million active users

Zoosk has the most extensive member base and is available at the lowest monthly price if you commit to a six-month membership.

However, these stats are deceiving because you may feel pressured to purchase coins or subscription add-ons to get the full benefit from this service.

Likewise, a significant portion of Zoosk users never transitions to a paid account. This means that it will be impossible for you to contact them unless you pay for premium messaging.

Unlike Zoosk and Match.com, Elite Singles has an involved signup process based around the Five-Factor model of personality. The purpose of this quiz is to give the site key information about what you are looking for in a match so that it can suggest members with a seemingly higher chance of compatibility.

Zoosk, in contrast, only asks for your basic information when you sign up and doesn’t let you specify what you want in a partner.

In fact, you can only search for potential matches by age and location. Other sites often allow you to specify details like race, education level, religion, whether they smoke, and more.

Something nice about both Zoosk and Match.com is that you can view photos and full profiles with a free account. Elite Singles blurs out photos until you commit to premium.

Key Takeaways

If you’re choosing between these three services, we think you need to consider what you most want out of a dating service. If heavier-handed matchmaking and taking a personality test appeal to you, Elite Singles are better options than Zoosk.

Likewise, if you want to set up an account quickly and scan through lots of profiles before committing to a straightforward paid membership, then Match.com makes sense.

The most significant advantage of Zoosk is the larger membership base, but you might struggle to contact a lot of users. To address that, you will need to sign up for paid membership and premium messaging.

The Bottom Line

Zoosk is a full-featured online dating service with a unique virtual coin system that essentially allows users to pay for the features they care about a la carte.

This makes sense in theory, but in reality, the majority of reviews indicated that Zoosk members were disappointed in the app’s value and lack of viable matches.

Your experience might be different, but we think there are less expensive dating services to experiment with that give you a better chance of connecting with someone genuine.

For this reason, we suggest users start with a free Zoosk account and browse the profiles of nearby singles before committing to a long-term subscription.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of Zoosk:
  • 66 Customer Reviews
  • 8% Recommend This Service
1.3 out of 5
5 star: 1% 4 star: 3% 3 star: 1% 2 star: 10% 1 star: 83%

 Our Promise to You

To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

Sort reviews by:

  • I met my fiance

    • By Ro,
    • Georgia,
    • Jul 1, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Though I was very skeptical of online dating, I still signed up with Zoosk. I knew what I wanted in a partner. I did not give much information in my profile.

    I recognized the scammers and the pervs. I waited patiently, blocking people left and right, until I got contacted by the right person.

    Now we are happily engaged. If it wasn't for Zoosk, I wouldn't have met the love of my life. So everything is possible, your success is in your hands.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Not the worst, not the best either.

    • By Brian Reeves,
    • Oceanside, CA,
    • Jul 15, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    As far as dating sites go, Zoosk is pretty good. The only downside is that most users do not subscribe, obviously due to the high monthly cost. However, for those that do subscribe, it is awesome. It encourages people to like pictures, which increases your chances to make a connection with someone. I have actually met a lot of nice girls on there in person. When you originally sign up it is confusing because of the 'auto wink reply' feature that people can have with the free profile. So you think people are actively writing back to you, but it is just their auto reply, they didn't even know you tried to write them. It would be nice if Zoosk lowered their monthly costs, because I think a lot more members would try it, making it overall a better site. I like OKCupid, but the members there are too focused on LifeTime Relationships they almost never want to meet up with someone. Zoosk has more realistic members.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Not too bad but have issues

    Overall Experience:

    Zoosk advertises that it takes 20 coins to unlock a profile and I have always had to do 30 coins in order to unlock a profile. I had a time when I got 40 coins, but I didn't get it posted so that I can unlock a profile. It's true that if you want to try to cancel your subscription, Zoosk do not refund your money back to you and they do not remove your name because you will still receive emails from profiles stating that they are interested. But I also had good luck on Zoosk, I met someone who I really liked and the feeling is mutual, four years later. Anything you get into will have pros and cons. Nothing is perfect.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Not like the ads

    • By Amy Roe,
    • Melbourne,
    • Sep 26, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was a bit disappointed. This is just not at all like the ads portray it to be.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Site interference

    • By Ted Walker,
    • Sun City West, AZ,
    • Jun 13, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I contacted one lady with a message complimenting her for her worldly accomplishments. She said thanks. I expressed my regret we lived so far apart and wished her well. She returned the same to me. Afterwards, I was getting daily, multiple notices she was viewing me. I was curious so asked her if she was viewing me multiple times daily. She said no. It appears to me the site is generating false views, not a good thing for one of these sites to do as it gets folks all excited that someone is interested when they are not. I finally stopped the exchanges by blocking her and removing chat permission. For this reason, I will not recommend this site to anyone unless they like to be misled by this type of interference.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Agree with negative rewiews

    • By D,
    • Canada,
    • Jul 22, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I think Zoosk has really poor value and I found that most of the users were out of immediate area. Zoosk has a poor ability to filter. I think it's basically just a marketing scam hooked into Facebook to make it appealing and easy to use. However, that doesn't mean it's useful.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • E-mails don't appear to get delivered although I subscribed and paid for that feature.

    • By James Thompson,
    • Ten Mile, TN,
    • Oct 31, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I noticed that no one responds to an email, even though they are listed as a Zoosk member. I complained to support and they blew a line of smoke evading the issue. I sent 31 test e-mails requesting that the person simply acknowledged that they received the e-mail. Not a single person responded and Zoosk customer support ignored the problem indicating by that action this is probably a company policy with the goal to sell e-mail confirmations before allowing delivery. The last complaint I sent was totally ignored. I would think that at least one person would respond since the message indicated a test.

    I tried a similar approach on Christian Mingle and received a response after sending only three e-mails.

    I don't think any e-mails that I sent through Zoosk have been delivered.

    I suggest that a government authority set up male and female accounts on Zoosk, take out subscriptions, and then try sending e-mails. I think there is a high probability they can prove fraud. Maybe you should try this test yourself and publicly post the results.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Did not receive new password in email

    • By Kevin Redling,
    • Greensboro, NC,
    • Feb 2, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I send messages and request after request and got no reply. It's like I never sent anything. No satisfaction.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Fraud

    • By George V,
    • Texas,
    • May 23, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have been using Zoosk for several months. When I get a message that "a Zoosk member" wants to meet me and I choose "Yes" to the question "Do you want to meet her?", the result is going to another screen to pictures of quite a few more women, but none are the same as the Zoosk member who wants to meet me. What's worse is that I got "a Zoosk member" who wants to meet me from Daisetta notice, and two days later I got the same "a Zoosk member" who wants to meet me from Edinburgh. Sounds like a scam/fraud to me. I unsubscribed on 5/20 and will be curious to see if they try to charge my card in June when my original subscription expires.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • I feel cheated

    • By Betsy Brown,
    • Springville, PA,
    • Aug 3, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I got sucked in with numerous chat requests at first when I was doing the free stuff. A week later, dying of curiosity, I paid for a month of subscription. I did not realize that it is a recurring fee, so I will have to watch that when I cancel. Every little thing extra you may want to do seems to cost more money. I found very few local people, and most of the ones I did find were accounts hacked and changed by the original poster's angry significant other. Other local profiles appear to be total zombie accounts as the people are never online and do not respond to messages.

    One person I recognized immediately and knew to be in a committed relationship. This person thought they had deleted their account two years prior. Many profiles have references to years which indicate the profile is many, many years old. Saw many profiles that interested me only to not be able to find them again just hours later. Total waste of money in my opinion. A reputable site would weed out the inactive accounts and indicate if someone is or is not able to use messaging.

    I would never recommend this site.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Just about useless

    • By Lisa M.,
    • North Carolina,
    • Mar 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Zoosk is just about useless. It will present you with profiles that typically include images of lots of people, but it seems to me that with even the most basic of technology that the app should be able to narrow down who you are presented with and who you are presented to. If not, why should I bother to fill out a profile of who I am most interested in. Take for example someone viewing me, I should not show up in a feed of someone who does not match what I am looking for but the vast majority of "views" are from people who are not even a remote match for who I am seeking. The app should be able to filter this. It is a waste of time for them to see me and for me to have to delete them. Likewise with the carousel, the only demographic it seems to match for is age range. Of the 50 people on any given carousel, only 1 or 2 fit the general profile that interest me - black men. I spend an inordinate amount of time clicking off/blocking people who are white who I am sure are very nice but not within the demographic I am looking for.

    The lack of filtering by the app is annoying.

    I also find it annoying that the "view" notification, notifies both parties even when there was not an intentional view. To me, a view should be I see the picture, and open the profile. Not the app has sent me a picture, forces me to interact with it by hitting the X, or arrow to pass forward, and then notifies the other party that I viewed when I did not. I know most of the views I am receiving result from this ridiculous set up so you do not know who actually took initiative to "read" my profile, "view" me.

    I will not renew my subscription. I have tried other dating apps. I do not remember them being as useless as this. More random notifications of people who really didn't "look" is not better than having less notifications that reflect people who actually did have some initial interest.

    If you sign up, just do a month. If you like it, then do the multi-month plan. I return to the site only because I have paid for it. When it ends, I will not be back.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


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